SINGAPORE, 12 October 2012 – Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SPH) today reported its results for the year ended 31 August 2012 (FY 2012). Group recurring earnings of $410.2 million was slightly higher by $1.2 million (0.3%) compared to the previous financial year (FY 2011), as growth in the property and exhibitions businesses cushioned the lower profits from the newspaper and magazine segment. Investment income was impacted by volatility in the financial markets and fell by $17.8 million (35.3%) to $32.6 million. Consequently, net profit attributable to shareholders of $365.5 million was $23.0 million (5.9%) lower compared to FY 2011.
Group operating revenue of $1,272.9 million for FY 2012 was $21.9 million (1.8%) higher compared to FY 2011. Revenue for the Group’s Newspaper and Magazine business of $1,002.8 million was marginally lower by $10.5 million (1.0%) compared to FY 2011. Print advertisement revenue was $769.4 million, slightly down by $5.3 million (0.7%) compared to the previous year. Circulation revenue declined by $4.3 million (2.1%) to $202.9 million.
Rental income for the Group grew by $23.5 million (14.0%) to $191.4 million. The Clementi Mall recorded an increase in rental income of $18.6 million (100.6%) on the back of a full year’s operations. Paragon’s rental income increased by $4.6 million (3.1%) as a result of higher rental rates achieved.
Operating revenue from the Group’s other businesses improved by $8.9 million (12.8%) to $78.7 million, with increased contribution from the exhibitions business.
Newsprint costs were lower by $1.0 million (1.0%) while distribution costs rose by $5.4 million (23.4%) partly due to costs from newspaper subscription drives. Staff costs rose by $11.7 million (3.4%) due to salary increments and increased headcount from the acquisition of ACP Magazines Pte Ltd, partially offset by a reduced variable bonus provision.
The increase in premises costs of $7.0 million (12.7%) was attributable to The Clementi Mall being fully operational this year, and higher utilities cost overall. Other operating expenses rose by $14.8 million (12.1%) due to step-up in overheads in tandem with increased business activities and inflationary pressures.
On the outlook for FY 2013, Mr Alan Chan, Chief Executive Officer of SPH said: “Against the backdrop of a challenging global economic environment, the near-term economic growth in Singapore is expected to remain modest. The Group’s print advertisement revenue will continue to move in tandem with the performance of the Singapore domestic economy. The Group will continue its strategy to invest in online media and other growth businesses while striving to sustain its core newspaper business.”
The Directors of SPH have proposed a Final Dividend of 17 cents per share, comprising a Normal Dividend of 9 cents per share and a Special Dividend of 8 cents per share in respect of the financial year ended 31 August 2012. These dividends are on tax-exempt (one-tier) basis and will be paid on 21 December 2012. Together with the Interim Dividend paid during the year, total Dividend payout for FY2012 will be 24 cents.